5 Transition Pieces To Spice Up Your Spring Wardrobe

We have entered that weird period of transition in the Midwest. The snow melts during a stretch of sunny days and we all run around in sweatshirts, jovial and restless, ready for spring. When the snow falls again, we are somehow surprised, despite the fact that this happens almost every year.

Designers unveil warm weather looks while we’re still wearing sweaters and wool socks on the tundra, which can make buying a sundress for a spring wedding or bathing suit for an upcoming vacation feel downright surreal. But not every spring purchase needs to wait to be worn.

Here are five of my favorite ways to inject a little warm weather dressing into your current wardrobe. The images are provided by the crew at shopbop.com.

A Statement-Making Dress
Nothing banishes the winter blues like a show stopping dress. I basically live in dresses, tights and boots in the spring. I’m especially fond of pieces that work with bare legs and sandals in the summer and can also be dressed up for work with a jacket.

I don’t really need any dresses per se, but this Jack by BB Dakota dress is awfully tempting. It meets all my requirements. And it’s striped! (I have a weakness for stripes, especially black and white.) Did I mention the cut-out back is cute and bra-friendly? Bonus.

Your dream dress is probably very different than mine, but if you’re on the fence about buying it, I encourage you to snap it up. There’s just something uplifting about knowing you have a piece in your closet that makes you happy every time you wear it. If it truly fits in your budget, you won’t regret it.

Lace-Up Necklines
I’ve started replacing my standard issue tanks, Ts and bodysuits with lace-up versions as they wear out and I seriously cannot stop. I love how this flirty look adds a little intrigue to my basics without being over-the-top sexy. Since there’s so much happening at the neckline already, I can skip a necklace and show off some fabulous statement earrings.

The laces peaking out from under my standby wraps, cardigans and my favorite leather jacket give my outerwear a fresh look with very little effort. I still gravitate toward black and charcoal, but I’m expanding to other colors gradually.

Kimono Top
A gossamer-thin kimono top is such an easy spring layering piece. I have a few in my closet already, which I wear over jeans and leggings now or with shorts during the summer. When I’m traveling, a kimono also doubles as a swimsuit coverup for the beach or pool. (I’m all about clothing that that can serve multiple functions!)

I really gravitate toward brightly colored kimono tops with pretty patterns or ones that include eye-catching fringe or scalloped trim. I choose dark colors and punk-inspired accessories lot in my everyday life, but kimono tops are one of those places where my super girly, dreamy, bohemian side comes out.

I wore a bold, flowered kimono to a party I threw last night and my friend Noor noticed a difference the second she walked into my kitchen. “You’re always so busy and you just wear dark colors,” she said, nodding approvingly at this colorful departure from the norm. I like to think of my mostly black wardrobe as urban and utilitarian, but maybe (just maybe) it’s evidence that I’m getting a little bit lazy. Note to self: Make an effort.

Vintage-Inspired Sunglasses
I’ve we’ve met in person (or if you glance at my logo for 2.2 seconds) you know that sunglasses are kinda my thing. This is partially a style choice, but it’s also very practical. I have super sensitive eyes, so I wear shades more often than most people. And because my head is a little larger than the average woman’s (I worked in a costume studios professionally for years and actually have stats to back this up!) larger sunglasses are the only style that consistently look good on me. (My sister likes to take photos in my sunglasses because they take up her entire face!)

But this year might finally be the year I replace a few pairs of my giant specs with (slightly) smaller, retro-inspired versions. They’re getting a little banged up from road trips anyway. Most of the people that ride with me end up borrowing a pair for a few hours (or days), so back-up pairs come in handy!

I’m into the vintage-inspired horn rimmed and half-frame styles I’ve been seeing around. (The ones pictured are Le Specs, if you’re curious.) And I’m always up for a classic finish like matte black or tortoiseshell. Lighter or super mirrored lenses keep the whole look feeling modern.

The Long Vest
Ooh, I’m obsessed with long vests. I’m a creative person and a freelancer who can basically make her own dress code, so the vest really works for me. I wear knit versions over leggings and skinny jeans to add a little interest on casual days. I save a dressier, black vest made of suiting material (imagine a long, draped, knee-length blazer, just without the sleeves) for high voltage work situations. The cut is polished, but since the vest hangs open, it feels a little tough.

Wearing it kind of reminds me of the time I took I guy I was into on an impromptu, one-day trip to New York City. (I was truly terrible at dating, but I was — and still am — great at planning unexpected adventures.)

My aunt is a flight attendant, so we flew standby on her buddy passes. One of the unspoken rules for using cheap buddy passes is that you have to dress up. (Not like for the opera or anything, just business casual at a minimum.) It got chilly that night and Dave insisted on loaning me his coat to wear over my appropriate (but not terribly warm) ensemble.

So there we were, walking the streets of SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown in the middle of the night, a blonde guy in khakis and a dress shirt (one of the few times I would ever see him wearing anything other than jeans and a T-shirt in public) and a bleach blonde girl wearing his fingerless gloves and an oversized trench (or maybe a duster — that part’s hazy) with the sleeves rolled up and the coat tails flying behind her. I felt like some kind of urban superhero.

Honestly, I think I’ve been trying to channel that free spirited mixture of pretty and gritty ever since.


If you want to shop any of these looks, check out shopbop.com. I am an affiliate, which means that I earn a small commission if you buy something after being referred from my site. There’s a sale going on until  3 a.m. Central Standard Time on March 5 if you need to stock up.

What about you?
What are you shopping for this spring?
What’s your most versatile spring basic?
Which trends are you excited about?

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